July 31, 2017
Not sure how many thousand cute puffins that we saw today. We started the day at Elliston Point. It is one of the few places in the world where humans can walk to within 100 feet of nesting puffins. Don’t worry, the hundred feet includes a 100 ft chasm full of rocks and sea water. The puffins obviously know that none of us can make that leap.
What I want to write about is the life style of you typical Atlantic Puffin. Their parents hatch the egg at the back of burrow that they dig into a hillside. Seagulls can’t reach the egg and the fledgling puffin is safe. Mom and Dad work together to feed their babies fresh fish obtained from the nearby seas that are full of small fish that seabirds and whales love. Mom and Dad hooked up when they were 5 years old and will remain monogamous through the rest of their 35 year life span. They lay one egg each year. They spend 9 to 10 months a year far out in the ocean and only return to the island of their birth in the summer to hatch and raise their one baby each year.
Today we saw thousands at Elliston Point and nearby Bonavista Point. Bonavista is where John Cabot landed in 1501 or some 617 years ago. The discovery of seemingly endless amounts of cod. The region was soon full of cod fishermen and would remain so until the fishery collapsed. The puffins and other seabirds don’t eat cod and are OK. At Nonavista Poimt we saw plenty of Humpbacks and Fin Whales. Two icebergs were off in the distance.
It took the afternoon to reach Twirlingate Island where were directed to a nearby grounded iceberg. Most of the rest are gone from Iceberg Alley by this time in the summer. The one we saw was impressive. We were inspired to have a bottle of Iceberg Beer. The Brewers use iceberg water. I can’t say that it was more than a novelty. Nice blue bottle. We are working on Canadian specialties. Today I had Fisherman’s Brewis that is a hash made with fish parts and bread. Not my favorite. I also had some Poutine. There are endless variations. Generally Poutimes are composed of eggs topped with cheese curds, potatoes and gravy. Not sure it will catch on outside of Canada. We still need to buck up and order fried cod tongue. We are chasing tonights meal down with Funky Puffin Blueberry Rhubarb wine.
Newfoundland is as advertised. Plenty of whales, seabirds, scenery and friendly folks. Still no moose.
We encountered Bear in a provincial park on our last camping night on the Island. Spent half the night in the car.